Award winners announced tonight

Eric Morecambe's daughter Gail Stuart at last year's Sunshine Ball awards night at the Midland.
Eric Morecambe's daughter Gail Stuart at last year's Sunshine Ball awards night at the Midland.
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Our annual community awards night at the Midland Hotel is tonight (Friday). Who will win?

The Sunshine Awards, sponsored by Wright and Lord, will be presented at the Sunshine Ball at the iconic Morecambe hotel on the seafront, with the event beginning at 7pm.

More than 100 guests dressed in their best are expected at the yearly event to honour the great and the good of Morecambe.

The Sunshine Awards were created by The Visitor in 2010 to recognise people who go that extra mile for the town.

Previous Sunshine Award winners have included TT motorbike legend John McGuinness, TV personality Paul Hayes and Eric Morecambe himself.

Awards will be handed out in seven categories.

Four of these - Unsung Hero, Community Group, Sport and Entertainment - have been chosen by readers voting on line over the past month.

Three other award winners - Ambassador, Business and Young Person - were chosen by The Visitor editorial team.

The Ambassador award, sponsored by Wright and Lord, is the main honour of the night. It is given each year to an individual or group whose work has raised the profile of the town nationally or internationally.

This year’s recipients are Morecambe Football Club.

The Young Person award, sponsored by Ascentis, will be collected by 16-year-old Heysham High School pupil Georgia Hannam, British Champion biathlete.

Nominees in the other awards are:

UNSUNG HERO sponsored by Specsavers

Anna Krelle, charity volunteer

Barbara Mortensen, school lollipop lady

John and Dorothy McKenzie, chemists and festival organisers

(NOTE - John and Dorothy have asked to be withdrawn from the competition)

COMMUNITY GROUP sponsored by Costain

West End Impact, Christian charity

Volunteers for the talking newspaper service at Galloway’s Society for the Blind

Welcome Cafe in the Arndale Centre, charity fund raisers

BUSINESS sponsored by the Arndale Centre

Royal Bar

Gerry’s Fishing Tackle

Lingwood Security

ENTERTAINMENT sponsored by Opus North

Wayne Hemingway, organiser of Morecambe vintage festival

David and Carla Brayshaw, organisers of Morecambe Carnival

Kieran Engelke, wrestling promoter and referee

SPORT sponsored by The Visitor

Dave Chisnall, world ranked darts player

Morecambe Ladies Football Club

Frank Wilkinson, Morecambe Cricket Club coach and former player

The ball will this year raise money for the ‘Morecambe Gets Wise’ appeal.

A campaign is being run to raise £70,000 for a new Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise attraction in the town.

This will take the form of a giant bronze piece of artwork of the comedy duo sculpted by Graham Ibbeson, the man who created the Eric Morecambe Statue. The relief will be housed in a new Sunshine Garden of Fame opposite the Winter Gardens and is due to open in 2016.

An auction and raffle will be held at the Ball to raise funds for the campaign.

Items available on the auction are:

The first spot in the Sunshine Garden of Fame

An Eric Morecambe miniature maquette created by Graham Ibbeson

A signed limited edition piece of artwork by celebrity artist Paul Trevillion and book

A match and hospitality package for four at Morecambe Football Club

A family dinghy experience on Morecambe Bay

A £500 voucher from Morecambe Press for print and design services

There will also be a three-course dinner and music from Stuart Michaels, and St John’s Hospice choir.

Ashleigh Wood is unable to appear as previously advertised.

Tickets are sold out for the event.

Winners will be announced on this website following the ball.

PREVIOUS SUNSHINE AWARD WINNERS

2010

Personality - Ronné Coyles

Community - Tony Smart MBE

Sports - Ryan Done

Entertainments - Simon Armstrong

Business - Morecambe Bay Wines

2011

Ambassador - Paul Hayes

Community - Raj Patel

Sports - Alan Gale

Green - Furniture Matters

Business - Morecambe FC

Entertainment - Kathryn MacDonald

2012

Ambassador - The Heartbreaks

Unsung Hero - Don Holroyd

Community Group - Morecambe Brass Band Association

Sports - John McGuinness

Business - James Baxter & Son

Entertainment - Joyce Warrington MBE

2013

Ambassador - Cedric Robinson MBE

Unsung Hero - Emma Hamilton

Community Group - Homestart Lancaster and Morecambe

Sports - Scott Thornton

Entertainment - Ivan Harrison

Business - Pedder Street News

2014

Ambassador - Eric Morecambe

Unsung Hero - Annette Smith

Community Group - Morecambe Bay Foodbank

Sports - Ken Richardson

Entertainment - Nice ‘n’ Sleazy festival

Business - Battersby Silver Grey

Culture- Howard Rogerson